Nathan Hansen's column: Nevermind the evil laughter
Bit by bit, room by room, environmental inconvenience by environmental inconvenience, I have begun to exert my control over the weather patterns in my home.
It didn’t used to be like this. For most of the six years I’ve owned my house I’ve mostly been happy to take things as they came. I have a furnace, but when the January temperature repeatedly drops to 20 below that’s more a matter of survival than basic comfort. Beyond that, I put up with a little sweat in the summer, a little dry skin in the winter and the occasional squirrel invading my basement.
That last one doesn’t really have anything to do with the weather, but it’s always worth keeping an eye on those vermin. I know all that panicky dashing around in the street is an act. They’re lulling us into complacency while they plan their New Squirreled Order.But, back to the weather.This all started a couple of summers ago. I was still holding out on buying an air conditioner then, but having gotten sick of feeling like I was hugging SpongeBob SquarePants every time I walked in my front door, I broke down and bought a dehumidifier.It worked pretty well, siphoning bucket after bucket of water from the air I had been breathing/sipping, but the packaging had neglected to mention that it would also increase the temperature in the room by about 15 degrees.As side effects go, that’s up there with just about anything they list in the small print in prescription drug ads.Last year, I caved the rest of the way and bought a window air conditioning unit. I have absolutely no complaints about that. I can sleep comfortably through the hottest of nights. When suckers outside are sweating through their t-shirts, I’m wrapped comfortably in my blankets.I spit in the face of global warming.You know, figuratively.Now, having finally grown tired of waking up with a sore throat, I bought a humidifier last weekend.It is not lost on me that I now own both a machine that takes air out of the water and one that puts it back in. I feel like I need to make up my dang mind.I haven’t used the humidifier enough to know if it’s helping overall. Although the streak its steam cloud created on the wall of my bedroom suggests I need to clean a little more thoroughly.It’s a lot to get used to, all of this mastery over the weather. The more control I take, the more I start to feel like a super villain. All I need now is a device that will start lightning storms or hurricanes or a gentle snowfall in Atlanta and I can get on my direct video-phone line to the President and start demanding millions in meteorological ransom.Oh, I guess I need a direct-connect video link to the President, too. I think maybe you can get those on Amazon, though.Now that I’m planning, I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea to upgrade my house. I’m thinking about something along the lines of a skull-shaped island cave lair. I’m going to have to check the zoning codes to see if that’s allowed in my neighborhood. I suspect they’ll have a problem with the drawbridge.I also don’t know how the crocodiles will survive in a frozen moat.And I suppose if I’m going to do this, I really ought to do it right. I’ll need minions.Maybe I can get the squirrels to do it.